Justice for All: Men of Elmont work to encourage conversations between police, community
The Men of Elmont group is working to fuel conversations between police and communities about topics ranging from mental health to defunding the police to Black Lives Matter.
The group, made up of teens from Elmont Memorial High School, held a summit this year on the topic of uncomfortable conversations with police. Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder and a group of Nassau police officers were invited to talk face to face with community members and answer questions.
Following the death of George Floyd and many other police-involved deaths across the nation -- the emotions are still raw.
When asked if police departments in the nation have issues with systemic racism, Ryder said, "I believe with training and with education and awareness we become a better police department.
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Ryder also said it's not time to defund the police, instead it's time to reinvest but standardize going forward.
As for the topic of Black Lives Matter, one of the officers said, "I stand for all lives matter, Black Lives Matter, blue lives matter, all lives matter." The officer said at the end of the day you have to come together and be peaceful.
The Men of Elmont group also asked for more positive interaction between students in Elmont and Nassau police to help bridge the gap. The group says it feels like it stepped up as a voice for the community. The teens say they appreciate the real conversations with members of the Nassau Police Department.
A video created by the Men of Elmont has become an integral part of the new bias training that Nassau police recruits receive.